Ononis rotundifolia (round-leaved restharrow)
Round-leaved restharrow is a beautiful, dwarf shrub with large, pink, red-veined pea-flowers and round, toothed, sticky leaflets.
About this species
Round-leaved restharrow is a low-growing shrub, with round, toothed leaflets, covered in sticky glands. The pea-flowers are pink or white, with crimson veins, particularly on the standard petal. Two or three flowers are borne on a short stalk, which holds them clear of the leaves. Ononis fruticosa (shrubby restharrow) is similar in appearance, but has narrow leaflets.
Geography & Distribution
Native to the western Mediterranean, from eastern Spain and France to eastern Austria and central Italy, where it is found at 700–1,800 m above sea level.
A perennial shrub up to 50 cm tall. The leaves are divided into three leaflets, each of which is around 25 mm across, rounded, toothed and glandular. The terminal leaflet is borne on a 5 mm long stalk. The flowering branches are around 3 cm long. The flowers are 16–20 mm long. The standard petal is pink, with darker veins. The keel petals are usually white. The fruit is a dark reddish, elongated, pod with silvery hairs.
Illustration from Curtis's Botanical Magazine
An unsigned hand-coloured engraving of Ononis rotundifolia in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine (1796).
Curtis’s Botanical Magazine (Editor: Martyn Rix) provides an international forum of particular interest to botanists and horticulturists, plant ecologists and those with a special interest in botanical illustration.
Now well over two hundred years old, the Magazine is the longest running botanical periodical featuring colour illustrations of plants. Each four-part volume contains 24 plant portraits reproduced from watercolour originals by leading international botanical artists. Detailed but accessible articles combine horticultural and botanical information, history, conservation and economic uses of the plants described.
Published for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
See the Wiley-Blackwell Subscription Information page for rates (for both print and online).
Round-leaved restharrow is cultivated as an ornamental.
This species at Kew
Ononis rotundifolia is grown in the Order Beds (bed number 38, Leguminosae) at Kew.
Pressed and dried specimens of Ononis rotundifolia are held in Kew’s Herbarium, where they are available to researchers by appointment. The details of specimens of some other Ononis species can be seen on-line in the Herbarium Catalogue.
Curtis’s Botanical Magazine (Wiley-Blackwell)
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